“Correctional officers have some of the toughest jobs in the province, and our members are proud of their role. But no one should have to fear for their safety when they go to work.” ― Bob Bymoen, SGEU President.
Regina (05 Sept. 2019) ― The Saskatchewan Government and General Employees' Union (SGEU/NUPGE) is calling on the Ministry of Corrections and Policing to invest in more staffing and deal with overcrowding at provincial correctional centres to combat rising violence and rival gang feuds.
“We are hearing from our members that these centres are a powder keg waiting to explode. We are seeing more violence against inmates and against correctional officers. Our staff do not feel safe, yet management won’t listen to the concerns of our members or take their advice on how to combat these problems,” said SGEU President Bob Bymoen.
Violent incidents on the rise across the province
Saskatoon Provincial Correctional Centre recently had 2 violent incidents that injured 4 inmates, but other centres, such as Prince Albert Correctional Centre, are also seeing a rise in violence in recent weeks, with as many as 3 or 4 inmate assaults a day.
More rival gang violence and an inability to keep these factions apart due to overcrowding are resulting in increased clashes between these gangs.
Overcrowding poses a direct threat to staff
“We know that overcrowding and a lack of staff are creating a very volatile situation at all the correctional facilities around the province. We need to see this ministry invest in more secured beds, more staff and more resources to deal with this very concerning issue,” said Bymoen.
“Correctional officers have some of the toughest jobs in the province, and our members are proud of their role. But no one should have to fear for their safety when they go to work. Correctional officers need much more support and resources before this situation becomes worse than it already is,” added Bymoen.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE